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Huge swarm of flying ants were spotted over Kent from space

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A huge swarm of flying ants spotted over the south coast was so dense it could be seen from space.

The Met Office says its radar was picking up something over Kent, East and West Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset yesterday - and initially thought it could be rain.

But a closer look revealed it was thousands of flying ants.

The weather agency was so excited by the discovery it asked its Twitter followers what they thought the images showed - either pollen, flying ants or dust, with most people guessing dust.

But it confirmed the cloud seen over southern England was in fact flying ants.

The Met Office said: "If you said flying ants you were correct! We know this to be insect clutter (flying ants) based on inspection of raw reflectivity (Zdr and RhoHV)."

Swarms of the insect are common around this time of year as part of their "nuptial flight" phase of reproduction.

Some people have referred to the phenomenon as 'flying ant day'.

But a study of the insects found they fly somewhere in the UK on 96% of days between the start of June and the start of September.

Flying ants day happens every year
Flying ants day happens every year

The movement is caused by potential new female queens and male ants embarking on a mating flight.

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